Well, it might finally be coming together for NBC’s ‘Powerless,’ and just in time I might add. I had pretty much decided that if this week’s outing delivered about the same level of sub-par mediocrity as last week’s episode, I was going to be done with the series. So imagine my surprise when they rolled out ‘Sinking Day,’ which actually felt like the first episode that the show managed to really use all the tools at its disposal and deliver an episode that felt somewhat close to their potential.
The plot, again, not particularly brilliant (but for once I didn’t care), involved the company losing its biggest client, Ace Chemicals, who desperately needs help with their safety procedures because of how often their unsafe warehouses end up creating psychotic clown villains (I loved that joke), because they feel Van did not pay enough attention to their account. Van’s father pays a visit and is pissed that Van managed to lose Ace Chemicals, and says Van has lost his respect, and Emily is, of course, angry because up to that point the department had seen a 35% increase in sales starting from when she had been hired, a fact that both she and Van had hoped to parlay into promotions.
So they set to work to find another client, and Emily lands a meeting with representatives of the underwater city of Atlantis (yes, THAT Atlantis, home to Aquaman), who just so happens to be celebrating “Sinking Day,” commemorating the day their city sunk below the seas. At the meeting, the Atlanteans are somewhat impressed but are about to leave without giving a firm yes, so to seal the deal Van invites them to a Sinking Day party claiming they do it every year and that Aquaman even comes. Emily is pissed because she knows she will have to put it together. However, Van proves correct in his assumption in that the guys were going to say no before they got the party invite, and he impresses Emily further by dodging their questions about Aquaman not being there and providing the reps with personal gifts he researched that make them feel very welcome despite the fact that Emily almost serves tuna at the party, a fish that is a respected friend and ally to the Atlantean people.
Van’s father arrives, worried that Van will screw up the deal and tries to close it himself, before he learns the reps will only deal with Van and Emily, and the two manage to seal the deal and broker the biggest deal Wayne Security has ever had, which they later celebrate by writing a folksy song together, lamenting Van’s father’s lack of faith in him, and Emily’s own strange obsession with her father and his flower shop, which Van can’t stand as she repeatedly uses it to try to make points about hard work and integrity to him.
The B-Story revolved around the science folk believing that new accountant Alex is a new hero in Charm City called the Olympian, just because he disappeared once right before the Olympian appeared to save the day. Ron especially is obsessed with the idea, and even installs cameras in the bathroom to catch Alex changing into his costume, which Jackie is just fine with because she has the hots for the man and would love to see him without his clothes on. Teddy plays the straight man this week, not believing that Alex is actually a superhero, same goes for Wendy, who gives the final test to Alex by breaking a wooden chair on his back during the Sinking Day party, knocking him out and proving once and for all that he is NOT a superhero. Also, we learned this episode that Ron is actually from Atlantis, even though everyone assumed he said he was from Atlanta because of you, you know, racism.
This was the first episode that felt like only ‘Powerless’ could have done it, as it fully integrated a lot of elements from DC comics, had a lot of heart and humor, gave Tudyk a lot to do (which is going to be necessary going forward, the man is great), and really the only thing lacking was some solid comedy for Danny Pudi to do. While he was good as the straight man in this episode, I miss the wacky Abed antics of ‘Community’ which he does so well, and it is odd seeing Ron outshine him in that department. But all in all, this episode gives me a lot of hope for the future of ‘Powerless,’ and if next week continues this upward trend, I will stay onboard as a viewer and keep watching.
Nick is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles, who belongs to the privileged few who enjoyed the ending to ‘Lost.’ For more of Nick’s thoughts and articles, follow him on Twitter.